1985–86 Boston Celtics season
|1985–86 Boston Celtics season|
|Sixteenth NBA Championship|
|Head coach||K. C. Jones|
|Owner(s)||Don Gaston, Alan N. Cohen, Paul Dupee|
Hartford Civic Center
|Place||Division: 1st (Atlantic)
Conference: 1st (Eastern)
|Playoff finish||NBA Champions|
|Television||SportsChannel New England, WLVI, WTXX|
In 1985–86 the Celtics fielded one of the best teams in NBA history. The Celtics won 67 games, going 40–1 at home (37–1 at the Boston Garden, 3–0 at the Hartford Civic Center), just one win shy of tying their franchise record of 68 wins set in 1972–73. Larry Bird won his third consecutive MVP award after having arguably his finest season, and Bill Walton won the Sixth Man of the Year Award. They would win their 16th championship and last for 22 years, defeating the Houston Rockets in six games in the NBA Finals.
The 1985 NBA Draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA Draft of the "Lottery" era. The lottery was put into place so teams could not intentionally lose games to receive the number one pick.
|1||20||Sam Vincent||Guard||United States||Michigan State|
|3||70||Andre Battle||Guard||United States||Loyola (IL)|
|4||93||Cliff Webber||Forward||United States||Liberty Baptist|
|5||116||Albert Butts||Forward||United States||La Salle|
|6||139||Ralph Lewis||Guard||United States||La Salle|
|7||162||Chris Remly||United States||Rutgers|
- On Wednesday, December 25, 1985, in a matchup of one of the worst teams in the league (New York Knicks, 10-19) against one of the best (Boston Celtics, 21-7), the Knicks defeated Boston in double overtime, 113-104. Rookie Patrick Ewing had 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Knicks.
- On Wednesday, January 22, 1986, the Boston Celtics (31-8) defeated the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers (32-8) 110-95 in a matchup of the league's two best teams.
- On Friday, January 24, 1986, the Boston Celtics (32-8) overtook the Los Angeles Lakers (32-9) as the team with the best record in the NBA. The Celtics maintained the league's best record for the remainder of the season.
- On Sunday, February 16, 1986, in the season's second matchup between the Celtics and Lakers, Boston won again, 105-99.
- Under head coach K.C. Jones, the 1985–86 Boston Celtics finished the regular season with a record of 67–15. This team is generally considered to be the best of Larry Bird's career. In addition to longtime Celtics Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, the franchise was joined on the front line by former NBA MVP Bill Walton. Despite a career plagued by a series of serious injuries to his knees, ankles and feet, Walton would win the NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award. Walton appeared in a career high 80 games. The backcourt was led by the MVP of the 1979 NBA Finals, defensive stopper Dennis Johnson, and former Toronto Blue Jays baseball player, shooting guard Danny Ainge. Off the bench, the Celtics featured former All-Star Scott Wedman and recent acquisition (from the Indiana Pacers) Jerry Sichting.
|x-New Jersey Nets||39||43||.476||28||26–15||13–28||11–13|
|New York Knicks||23||59||.280||44||15–26||8–33||5–19|
|1985–86 Game Log|
Note: GP= Games played; REB= Rebounds; AST= Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; AVG = Average
- 1st Round
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (8) Chicago Bulls: Celtics win series 3–0
- Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston (April 17): Boston 123, Chicago 104
- Game 2 @ Boston Garden, Boston (April 20): Boston 135, Chicago 131 (2OT)
- Game 3 @ Chicago Stadium, Chicago (April 22): Boston 122, Chicago 104
The Celtics steamrolled through the Eastern Conference Playoffs, sweeping the Chicago Bulls 3–0 in the first round. The highlight of the first round was the second game, which went into double-overtime. Matched up against a superior Celtics team, Michael Jordan exploded for 63 points at the Boston Garden and nearly lead his team to a stunning upset. The Celtics won the game 135–131, and closed out the series two days later in Chicago.
- Conference Semifinals
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (4) Atlanta Hawks: Celtics win series 4–1
- Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston (April 27): Boston 103, Atlanta 91
- Game 2 @ Boston Garden, Boston (April 29): Boston 119, Atlanta 98
- Game 3 @ The Omni, Atlanta (May 2): Boston 111 , Atlanta 107
- Game 4 @ The Omni, Atlanta (May 4): Atlanta 106, Boston 94
- Game 5 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 6): Boston 132, Atlanta 99
Boston proceeded by besting the young Atlanta Hawks four games to one in the semifinals. The series was highlighted by a game 5 blow-out. The final score was 132–99, and featured the Celtics hammering the Hawks in the third quarter by a score of 36–6.
- Conference Finals
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Milwaukee Bucks: Celtics win series 4–0
- Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 13): Boston 128, Milwaukee 96
- Game 2 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 15): Boston 122, Milwaukee 111
- Game 3 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee (May 17): Boston 111, Milwaukee 107
- Game 4 @ The MECCA, Milwaukee (May 18): Boston 111, Milwaukee 98
The Eastern Conference Finals matched the Celtics up against the Milwaukee Bucks and head coach Don Nelson. Nelson was a former Celtic player who enraged the Celtics in the 1983 NBA Playoffs by accusing Celtic guard Danny Ainge of "dirty" play. The Celtics ended up sweeping the Bucks. This was the third time in four years that the Bucks and the Celtics had met in the Playoffs; the Bucks defeated the Celtics in the 1983 Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Celtics defeated the Bucks in the 1984 Eastern Conference Finals.
- NBA Finals
(1) Boston Celtics vs. (2) Houston Rockets: Celtics win series 4–2
- Game 1 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 26): Boston 112, Houston 100
- Game 2 @ Boston Garden, Boston (May 29): Boston 117, Houston 95
- Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (June 1): Houston 106, Boston 104
- Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston (June 3): Boston 106, Houston 103
- Game 5 @ The Summit, Houston (June 5): Houston 111, Boston 96
- Game 6 @ Boston Garden, Boston (June 8): Boston 114, Houston 97
Following the conclusion of the 1986 NBA Finals, a video documentary of the 1986 NBA season, known as "Sweet Sixteen", was released. David Perry was the narrator after Dick Stockton narrated the last three NBA season documentaries.
Boston Celtics roster
|C||Robert Parish||Bill Walton||Greg Kite|
|SF||Larry Bird||David Thirdkill|
|SG||Danny Ainge||Scott Wedman||Rick Carlisle|
|PG||Dennis Johnson||Jerry Sichting||Sam Vincent|
- Larry Bird, Associated Press Athlete of the Year
- Larry Bird, NBA Most Valuable Player Award
- Larry Bird, NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Award
- Larry Bird, All-NBA First Team
- Kevin McHale, All-NBA Defensive First Team
- Dennis Johnson, All-NBA Defensive Second Team
- Bill Walton, NBA Sixth Man of the Year Award.
- DuPree, David (December 26, 1985). "Knicks beat Celtics in 2 OTs 113-104". USA Today. p. 1C.
- DuPree, David (January 23, 1986). "Boston break keeps Lakers reeling 110-95". USA Today. p. 1C.
- DuPree, David (February 17, 1986). "Celtics put Lakers in pace 105-99". USA Today. p. 1C.
- on YouTube